Monday, October 29, 2007


Ideally, this world is made and built on the foundation of democracy. Yet the question I ask myself after years of being served the notion of such freedom and togetherness is that in this world where power, greed and poverty can all exist in the same place, is democracy relevant at all or is it just a mantelpiece placed on the shelf of ignorance turned into ultimate bureaucratic bliss?

In the end of the past century, we have seen the demise of communist and socialist blocks that should implicitly mark the rise of democracy to dominate our platter of thoughts but being a concept not well confined within a limitation, democracy has certainly not been translated in the same way by all the willingly participating nations of the world. Let me just give one of the most easiest example.

United Nation. The nurturing pot of democracy as it represents the voice of all 192 countries internationally-recognised or accepted into the federation and that would be a whopping 98% of the world's states. The 5 most highly regarded nations (some for the very wrong reasons), China, USA, UK, France and Russia are members of the Security Council. Each has a veto power to undo or reject or object a proposition painstakingly conjured up with courage by the other 187 nation in just a single blow. The result? Russia says "no" to objecting Iran's nuclear plan due to their oil collaborations, China says "no" to putting a stop on open arms deal in Sudan because of the business deals they have in between them and USA says "yes" with carrying on with the plan to invade whoever/wherever they like.

So has revolution after revolution of democracy where the people's voice gets the attention actually lead to a sense of nothingness and reclusiveness of the privileged? When only 2% of the world's nations get to play with the fate of other 98% of hopeful others, it seems pretty darn clear how some of the biggest advocate of democracy themselves befall their own sacred ideology and thus, becomes one of the most idiosyncratic notion of the modern world. Sort of like having ducks saying they can and will fly. Believe them, they do! It's just that you're a little bit unfortunate that you'll never see them do so while you are alive.

On that account, I will have to say that I think Malaysia has one of the saddest democractic nation built on a very sheepishly configured racial distribution. We can never deny the fact most of the parties in the ruling united party were (are) racially inspired and that if one of the major three parties were to leave, a majority will not be guaranteed. Having parties driven by racial interest and preservation rather than a shared vision and mission that is encapsulated by a certain ideology is definitely one of the downside of Malaysian political scenario. Well, some might argue that we have different values than Western society but we should have become matured enough to educate people in making the right choice by deciding what's best for their country economically, socially and politically and not racially. Unfortunately in Malaysia, we do not even have much of a choice. The result? A sense of mere acceptance because nobody else can afford to offer a better option and the ruling party doesn't even need to struggle to ensure that they will have to come up with explicit,workable plans for the nation.

I'm not saying that everything needs to change. I'm not ignoring to acknowledge that democracy and discussion did work to overcome a lot of problems. But when practiced to suit a particular interest, it often fails to represent what it aspires and what actually truly matters. The People.

for more on the issue, join the discussion on


zek said...

Democracy is dead.

Democracy is a hard way, because in the end, it is always the nature of life--and politics--that the ruling class will always be held by the rich and powerful.

It is rarely held by the intelligent and insightful.

Bush simplified this notion in his speech during a non-partisan fund-raiser for charities run by the Archdiocese of New York: "This is an impressive crowd of the haves and have mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."

Hence, I skeptically believe that even if Malaysian political landscape changes to a non-racial division, the problem will innately be the same.

But if we have more people like you, I might be wrong. =)

Ana Shirin said...

thank you for the comment, zek...

yes, i do acknowledge that having the political system reconstructed might not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome but it bothers me to think that we are still inundatedly immersed in a perception of democracy when it actually isn't the real deal...

we weren't well educated and still are not about the choices we have and those we can create, if we're provided a chance =)

more people like me? i hardly know what that means, enche zek.. hahaha